• Ambode, police launch rescue mission, dep gov visits
INDICATIONS emerged yesterday that abdcutors of the three female students of Babington Macaulay Junior Seminary School in Ikorodu area of the state are demcnding N300 million for their release.
Daily Sun gathered that the Monday evening incident was not the first time the school would be attacked.
Sometime last year, armed men struck in similar fashion but the school was able to repel them.
Thereafter, security was beefed up and the vandalised part of the school repaired; until three days ago.
One of the parents, who went to the school to find out the latest development on the matter told Daily Sun that, “one of the parents told me that the kidnappers have made contact and they are demanding N300 million…”
Regardless, Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, working closely with the police, have launched a massive rescue mission for the abducted girls.
Yesterday, the governor, through his Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Steve Ayorinde, said his government will spare no effort at ensuring the safe release of the three female students.
Ayorinde said the governor condemned the unfortunate incident, just as he assured that the police and other security operatives have swung into action, with useful leads and with an unwavering determination to track down the perpetrators of the act and ensure the safe return of the girls.
“We have not been silent on this unfortunate development. In a delicate security matter of this nature, where young innocent people are involved and management of information demands utmost circumspect, we were convinced that swift and coordinated reaction, guided by intelligence reports on the part of the police, was a better and more sensitive approach to take, rather than a sensational, panic-stricken reaction,” Ambode said.
He said the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Fatai Owoseni as well as the Assistant Inspector General of Police for the Lagos/Ogun Command were fully on ground at the scene and vicinity of the incident leading the entire coordinated effort involving every military apparatus.
“We believe in the capacity of the police to lead this rescue mission. I have had ceaseless briefing with them since the incident happened and God helping us, we shall spare no effort in securing the safe release of the girls and continue to secure the school and indeed every part of Lagos.”
Governor Ambode said the incident might not be unconnected with his recent visit to some parts of Ikorodu where he read the riot act to vandals and criminal gangs on the resolve of the state government to take the battle to their hideouts in a spirited effort to secure the pipelines.
“We believe this is a case of evil fighting back. But, Lagos will neither succumb to threats of lawlessness nor bow to terror.
“Our resolve is very clear; we will assist the police and other security agencies in dealing decisively with this one unfortunate case and prevent future reoccurrence. We will deploy the resources at our disposal to safeguard every life and property within our care,” he said.
Meanwhile, House of Representatives yesterday called on the Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase to ensure that the three schoolgirls are rescued.
The House resolved to send a 10-member delegation to Lagos, also mandated the police and other agencies to step up strict surveillance in Ikorodu and all schools in the state to avoid similar occurrence. Members of the committee were selected from the Committees on Police Affairs, Public Safety and Intelligence and Education.
In a related development, Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Dr. Idiat Oluranti Adebule has visited the school and assured that government was fully on top of the situation.
Adebule, who was accompanied by top government functionaries and the heads of security agencies in the state, said as a mother and commissioner of the Ministry of Education, she could imagine the pains the parents were going through due to the unfortunate development, but that government would leave no stone unturned until the three girls are rescued alive.
She said the state government, under Ambode’s leadership, was very much concerned about the plight of the affected parents and the school, and that it was on top of the situation and working hard in conjunction with security agencies to promptly reunite the children with their families. She also appealed passionately to the kidnappers to release the girls immediately, as the victims were innocent of whatever reasons that prompted their action.